A phrasal verb is a combination of a verb and a preposition, a verb and an adverb, or a verb with both an adverb and a preposition.

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Phrasal verb, adverb, or intransitive?

Can someone analyse this sentence for me? "Rex bit into his toy cat." (Yes, it's from 'Rex Barks'.) Is 'bit into' a phrasal verb, and 'his toy cat' the Direct Object? Or is 'into' an adverb to ...
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Looking for a verb that means the same as this proverb.

After black clouds, clear weather. I'm looking for a verb for 'clear weather' here. I want to comfort someone but by using a verb that carries the meaning of this. That there will be relief and ...
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7k views

“Pick up something” or “pick something up”?

I have difficulties with word order: I have picked up the pencil from the floor. [says my dictionary] ?I have picked the pencil up from the floor. [could be?] ?I will pick up it. [sounds ...
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How did the postverbal prepositions originate in 'to treat of' and 'to treat on'?

[OED:] [2.] a. {intransitive} To deal with some matter in speech or writing; to discourse. (In quot. 1517 transf. of pictorial representation.) Const. of, formerly also on, upon. How did of or ...
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104 views

Seem small clause

It is said that the omission of "to be" is allowed only when the adjective (phrases), noun (phrases), or prepositional phrase comes after the to be like this: a He seemed (to be) angry about the ...
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295 views

'want' vs 'want for' vs 'want of'

[OED:] want {verb} = 1. a. intr. To be lacking or missing; not to exist; not to be forthcoming; to be deficient in quantity or degree. In early use const. with dative or to. rare since the 17th ...
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What is the meaning of “mess somebody up”? [closed]

A nurse is telling: There was a girl who was driving inside a tunnel and something just fell on her car and she died. That messes me up more than thinking about patients who are sick. I have a ...
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52 views

Fire off (Phrasal verb)

I've looked up the phrasal verb fire off in the major dictionaries. Although no dictionary states that the phrasal verb suggests no intention of hitting a target. All the example sort of suggest so. ...
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89 views

What is a phrase or word for 'not logged in' state?

On a website, if you log in, you're in a logged in state, if you then log out, you are in a logged out state. What do you call the state before you have ever logged in to a site? Is it correct to ...
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Does “intimate” = “imply + infer”? Or just “hint at”?

I'm not clear on how intimate (in verb form) is perceived. Until I looked it up, I never would have believed (never seen) it used with inanimate objects as subject...I thought to intimate something ...
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1answer
51 views

Should I use 'able' or 'able to' in this question, even if it means that the sentence ends with 'to'? [duplicate]

My doubt is: Which of these two sentences is correct? We are always looking for ways to reach all the learners in our classroom as effectively as we are able. OR: We are always looking ...
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difference between “engage with someone” and “engage someone”?

What is the difference between "engaging with someone" and "engaging someone"? For example, what is the difference between these two expressions: How do you engage with your employees? How do you ...
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62 views

what do we say when a fever or cold has subsided and it's almost over with?

We say pick up or catch a cold when we first get it. Then when it really intensifies we say smth like "it's settled /settling in", I don't know whatever else people would say.. Anyways, when it ...
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35 views

Ellipsis (Gapping) and Prepositions

A simple example of ellipsis is: Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary oranges. (Peter likes to eat apples, and Mary [likes to eat] oranges.) Recently, I've been engaged in a debate about a ...
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52 views

Subtle differences between verbs and their phrasal forms

I often read sentences that use a phrasal verb that could be replaced by the verb without the particle. As a non-native English speaker, this confuses me a lot. For example, what is the difference ...
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90 views

Phrasal verbs with synonymous opposites

There are some cases in English where one can substitute in a word that normally has an opposite meaning, but instead produces the same meaning. For examples, consider the following meanings and ...
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“ever in revolt” and its grammatical role in the sentence

"It freezes the water to prevent it running to the sea; it drives the sap out of the trees till they are frozen to their mighty hearts; and most ferociously and terribly of all does the Wild harry and ...
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276 views

Is “Never mind” a phrasal verb?

When we say "never mind that" to mean disregard or don't worry about, is it a verb altogether (a phrasal verb) or is "mind" the verb that's modified by the adverb never? Examples: Never mind what he ...
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3answers
627 views

Can “take fruit in” something mean you enjoy it?

Consider to take fruit in something For example: I take fruit in my life. I feel like I have heard this term used before, but because I couldn't find an example with Google, I wanted to ...
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1answer
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“put up” meaning

This is something in the context of making appointments, taken from the book titled "W is for Wasted" by Sue Grafton. I've looked up the meaning in Merriam-Webster dictionary but it all looks ...
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1answer
48 views

How to spell “day hike” when it is used as a verb?

The compound noun "day hike" is used to describe "a hike that can be completed in a single day". It is most frequently written with a space in between the words, though you can find examples online ...
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135 views

'not fool enough to dance on the old strings', is it an idiom? This phrase is from 'The Invisible Man' by H.G Wells

In the book of 'The Invisible Man' by Wells, there is this sentence; "Kemp, you're not fool enough to dance on the old strings. Can't you see my position?" In this particular scene, Griffin(the ...
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What Does Strike a Chord Mean?

I am not a native speaker. From my reading and verbal communication, I came to believe that striking a chord means connecting to someone at an emotional level. However, I recently used it somewhere ...
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count on me / count me on [closed]

Is there any difference between these two? For example, in reply to a message asking whether I am attending an event, what would be the right one to use? Can we use count on me / count me on ...
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1answer
42 views

“Amount to” vs “Amount for” [closed]

What is the main difference between "amounts for" and "amounts to"? As much as I know they are phrasal verbs of amount. The meaning of "amounts to" can be easily found by googling it. But no results ...
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The flexibility of phrasal verbs

1) put the phone down = put down the phone 2) put a baby down = put down a baby. 3) put an amendment down = put down an amendment. Does the preposition 'down' in those phrasal verbs have a flexible ...
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“tracked up” verbal phrase meaning

I am getting difficulty in deducing the meaning of idiom tracked up in the given diction below, ( paragraph below is taken from the NYTimes editorials ) : ...the Boston Global to do more than ...
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2answers
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What's the “textbook” way to write a passive sentence with a phrasal verb?

So, I understand that the prohibition against ending a sentence with a preposition was only ever a myth, and isn't a rule we need to follow. Still, it was a rule I was taught in school, so presumably ...
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49 views

Opposite of 'buckle up'

If I wanted a kid in my car to fasten his/her seatbelt, I'd say 'Buckle up!'. It is an informal expression, and I'm wondering if there is a phrasal verb with the opposite meaning (to ...
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4answers
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Phrasal verb “be a thing”

I’m looking for the origin of the phrasal verb “to be a thing”. It means roughly “exist” or more specifically “be recognised” or “be a phenomenon”. I first noticed it around 2008–2009. Is ...
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2answers
232 views

Difference between Keep on+V-ing and Keep+V-ing

Please help me to find out the answer. Am I right if I say I keep on walking in this dark way? or I keep walking in this dark way? What is the difference between the two sentences?
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What is the difference between hand in, turn in and hand over?

What is the difference between these verbs. In which context should I use which? I think that these verbs may be interchangeable, but not all the times. For example: I turned in my homework to the ...
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38 views

Usage of “do by”

By 'do by' :- You've did wrong/ill by me. You've done ill by him by prejudging him. You're doing ill by me. You've did me ill by by what you groundlessly accused me of. Sir, you have done me wrong ...
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Can you specify the meaning of “candy over” as a phrasal verb?

As far as I know "candy" function as a noun only. However I came across this saying by Virginia Woolf "Really I don't like human nature unless all candied over with art". This phrasal verb makes me ...
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Phrasal Verbs. Rules and Tricks

Are there any rules or tricks that might explain how phrasal verbs are formed to understand their meanings?
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52 views

Kick or kick off a discussion? [closed]

When you want to say "starting a thread to discuss something", is it more correct saying "kick a discussion" or "kick off a discussion"? Thank you.
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47 views

Phrasal verbs leftward movement

I was reading a research paper on translating multi-word items, which include phrasal verbs, and I came across a passage about phrasal verbs, by Dixon, that reads: Moreover, leftward movement will ...
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123 views

which is more correct? “of my own age” or “of my same age”

I really faced that problem a lot. So, I want to end these frustrations and make it clear for me in order to improve my English Thanks in advance.
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163 views

Turn on vs Switch on [closed]

Which one is correct between turn on or switch on an air conditioner at home?
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66 views

meaning of camp down on someone

What does 'camp down' mean in the sentence: the army camped down on them with rape and murder? Does it connote something like attack or offend?
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What's the meaning of 'out' when it comes after a verb ?

What's the difference between a verb like read and read out or shout and shout out and so on? How does "out" change the meaning of verbs?
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1answer
55 views

What does “play in” mean in this sentence? [closed]

In the book Designing for Growth: A Design Thinking Toolkit for Managers (Google Books Link) the following sentence occurs: The designers envision several futuristic worlds to prototype for and ...
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2answers
69 views

What does “exit onto” mean? [closed]

I don't understand exit onto in the following sentences: Target is east and north of you, looks like Highway 56 to 17. Will intercept him if he stays on 17. Go east on 56 off Highway 2. What? ...
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1answer
45 views

“Joy crept into his face” vs. “Joy crept onto his face” [closed]

Please see the sentence: When he saw his grade, joy crept into/onto his face. At first glance, it seems like both could be correct, but they are not exactly synonymous. In what situation should ...
3
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2answers
62 views

Etymology of the phrase “goof off”

It seems clear to be an American idiom with the approximate meaning, "to waste time or procrastinate." My curiosity is about its possible relation to the Goofy, the Disney cartoon character.
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1answer
69 views

What part of speech is “alight” in “set alight”?

In the clause it was set alight, is alight acting as adverb and modifying was set an adjective and modifying it; or something else entirely that I'm missing. I'm fairly certain that set ...
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64 views

What words can be paired with “wreak”?

I can think only of havoc. What other things can be wrought in the present tense?
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Is “keep off” considered a phrasal verb, as in “keep off the grass”?

Or is "off" simply a preposition in this case? If it's a phrasal verb, would it still be considered so in the phrase: Keep your hands off her.
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to almost meet someone at some place

Is there a common way to say in English that two people were in the same place but didn't know at the time about each other and eventually didn't meet? I know one can say they passed each other on ...
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Is “Step out from behind” a phrasal verb?

Look at these examples: He stepped out from behind the curtain. Step out from behind the counter. Step out from behind the blue wall. Step out from behind the veil of illusion.